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Nepal Tea – Now on Kickstarter

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I was contacted by Nepal Tea via e-mail recently and pitched an idea. A tea company that offers it’s customers luxury quality tea while giving Nepal farmers and their citizens a fair price. Not to mention free housing and free education as well. A tea company that intends to build on community at source and make sure everything is done fairly.

That sounds beautiful to me. As a tea drinker I am aware that like with many other goods, it has an unethical side. Unfair working conditions, low pay, long hours and many other issues. This is why I agreed to help Nepal Tea. But building a better world doesn’t come free. They are asking for $32,000 to set up a physical shop in the US while also helping to”provide educational scholarship to 50 additional children, so they can go to school for free and distribute cows to more than 10 families in the Panchthar region of Nepal” as well as offering them a fair price to farmers. So far they have reached $16,866 and have over 20 days left to reach their goal.

You can read more on their Kickstarter campaign.

I come into helping Nepal Tea by reviewing some of the teas they have to offer. To help share their story and hope it reaches someone that can help.

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Nepal Tea have given me 5 teas to review.

  1. Silver Yeti 
  2. White Prakash 
  3. Kathmandu Cosmos 
  4. Kanchanjangha Noir 
  5. Shangri-La Oolong 

Note – Four of these are from the Special Loose Leaf Tea collection and one is from the Classic Loose Leaf Tea collection.

I decided to use my 200ml Gongfu teapot for all teas.

Lets get down to business.

Silver Yeti

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Silver Yeti is made only from the finest tea buds (no leaves). It is also one of the least processed teas and yet the most expensive one. 

Also known as silver needles and silver tips.

These silver tips are light, fluffy and very long. It has a sweet, subtle scent of dry peony and wood.

Steeping Parameters: 4g of leaf in 200ml gongfu teapot using 70C water.

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First Steep – 2 minutes

Once steeped a yellow liquid is produced that bares a dry, floral scent.

Flavour is soft, subtle and slightly sweet. Some floral tones with dryness and a nutty after taste.

Second Steep – 3 minutes

An increase in strength though remains subtle. Sweetness is floral with real peony tones and a touch of dryness in the after taste. Clean tasting and very pure.

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Conclusion – A nice silver tip tea that was good quality and clean tasting. Very fresh too.

…………………………

White Prakash

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White Prakash is the superior quality white tea prepared by Kanchanjngha Tea Estate (KTE). White Tea is considered healthiest of all teas. This is primarily because it is made from the baby plant only in a special time in the spring and undergoes virtually no processing.

These leaves are a wonderful mixture of silver, dark brown and red brown colours. They look full leaf for the most part with a natural curl. Scent wise it’s dry, wooden and slightly musky. Reminds me of Darjeeling.

Steeping Parameters: 5g of leaf in 200ml gongfu teapot using 82C water.

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First Steep – 4 minutes

Once steeped an orange liquid is produced that bares a dry yet sweet malt and wood scent.

The first few sips reveal a slightly sour, wooden, floral, malt mix with a musky finish. A little rough and very strong considering it’s a white tea, though very pleasant. The musky, wood tones linger in the after taste. Almost floraly sickly sweet.

Second Steep – 5 minutes

Less sourness and astringency though just as musky. Dry wood and flowers dance on my tongue with a sweet finish.

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Conclusion – This white tea is phenomenally good. It was very similar to a second flush black Darjeeling, if it was a blind taste test I would have been very wrong. The flavours were not subtle and it was sour but frankly that is what I liked about this tea. Simply wonderful!

Kathmandu Cosmos 

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Our special spiced chai is an Ayurvedic blend of our finest golden tips tea with flavorful homemade spice mix. A sweet and spicy heritage!

The raw leaf has a strong clove and cinnamon scent. Looks like a nice, large leaf blend with plenty of spicy dust coating.

Steeping Parameters: 5g of leaf in 200ml gongfu teapot using 95C water.

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First Steep – 4 minutes

The tea produced is dark brown and has a rich cinnamon and clove smell, sweeter than it’s raw form.

Oohh, it’s warming! Cinnamon, clove and now ginger notes dominate an all around, spiciness. Slightly sour but with some natural sweetness. Lingering after taste of mixed spices, with some dryness. Also some citrus crisp in there, cardamom pod-esque from what looks like lemongrass.

Second Steep – 5 minutes

Less thick but just as fragrant. An increase of dryness  but it’s such a wonderful after taste that it isn’t very noticeable.

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Conclusion – A lovely Chai blend that offers a classic, fragrant and strong mixture of flavours. The quality was nice, everything tasted natural and it was a great strength. Suitable to drink black or with milk and sugar. It gave me a warm glow inside drinking it and a sense of overwhelming happiness.

Kanchanjangha Noir 

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Kanchanjangha Noir is the premium black tea produced at Kanchanjangha Tea Estate (KTE).  It is more oxidized than green, oolong and white tea and its unique processing technique just makes it the perfect invigorating morning drink for all. 

The raw leaf is a mixture of dark brown, gold and red/brown leaves with a few green leaf fragments. It has a dry and wooden scent with a floral touch with a hint of smoke.

Steeping Parameters: 6g of leaf in 200ml gongfu teapot using 95C water.

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First Steep – 4 minutes

The resulting tea is dark red in colour and has a rich, malt scent.

Flavour is rich and sour with smoke, malt and dry wood notes. Robust but with some sweetness in the after taste. Some dryness too.

Second Steep – 5 minutes

Smoother though still rich, and with sour malt tones. Slight smoke in the after taste and minimal dryness.

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Conclusion – A robust tea that had Darjeeling characteristics. Strong sour malt tones were rich enough that this could be enjoyed with milk, would make a perfect breakfast tea – Nepal style.

Shangri-La Oolong

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Shangri-La Oolong tea (generally pronounced “wu-long”) is the mid-point blend between black tea and green tea in terms of oxidation. It is semi-oxidized and hence produces the characteristics of both green and black tea.

The raw leaf is a blend of autumnal brown, red and gold tones. It bares a sweet wood scent with a floral touch.

Steeping Parameters: 6g of leaf in 200ml gongfu teapot using 87C water.

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First Steep – 4 minutes

The tea produced is dark red/brown in colour and has a sweet yet dry, wood scent.

Flavour is medium strength with wood, soft smoke, and musk with a light yet sweet, floral finish. A lot of dryness in the after taste though.

Second Steep – 5 minutes

Sweet wood and light musk notes with slight sourness. Soft smoke in the after taste with an every growing dryness.

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Conclusion – Complex flavours with wonderful characteristics. This Oolong did not disappoint in quality or flavour. Perhaps too dry for my liking through but that is more of a personal thing.

……………..

Well colour me impressed! Nepal Tea have some impressive teas in their shop which I felt could stand up to some of the best Darjeeling teas I’ve had. Quality, selection and ideals; this tea company has it all. I do hope they achieve their goal because if this is what they are offering they should have so much more demand and custom than they do now.

Ethical teas are the way forward and Nepal Tea deserve to help bring those ideals forward. Please have a look at their Kickstarter and support if you can. I know you won’t regret it.

Happy Steeping!

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